Having a say in the design, layout and location of your home is one of the major benefits of self-build. Few of us get the chance to influence these factors when we choose a new home, so there’s a lot to think about. Depending on your experience and skills, you may choose to go it alone, hire an architect to help you make plans, or use project managers to supervise the whole thing, meaning all you have to do is supply the finance.
Most people don’t actually build their home themselves. They hire contractors to either complete the entire project, or to build a watertight shell that the owner can finish off.
The more work you can do yourself, the lower the building cost will be, but bear in mind the amount of time and effort it will take – especially if you also have to work – and the cost of maintaining your living arrangements until the project is complete.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of self-build home.
- One-off homes – these are custom-made homes where everything is designed from scratch, from the layout to the materials. This is usually a more expensive option, because you’ll work with an architect to plan everything. The advantage is that it gives you full control of what your home will be like.
- Kit homes – these are packages of all the building materials needed to create a home. Kit homes are one of the fastest ways to get your home built. You can choose from timber or oak frames, traditional materials or log homes, from two-bedroom bungalows to large family homes. They range in price from £30,000 upwards, not including the cost of the plot.
When deciding what design to choose, think about the area where you’re planning to build. Are the houses mostly traditional? Is it a small village or a city suburb? You may be more likely to get planning permission for a design that fits in well with the other buildings in the neighbourhood.